MI Stages Qiemem Update, New Firmware Opens The Door To More Complex Modulations

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Mutable Instruments Stages has received an alternative firmware update “Qiemem” that makes it even more complex, versatile and flexible

The Mutable Instruments Stages module is a real modulation wonder. Envelope, LFO …, it’s not just a classic modulator, it’s a module that adapts to your needs. It can be an ASR envelope, complex 6-stage envelope, LFO, 4 step sequencer, switched LFO, or a mixture of these. If you have dealt intensively with the module and understand the idea, it can be anything you want.

In October there was a nice update with which the 4-step sequencer became a feature boost and making it easier to use. Shortly before the end of the year, “qiemem” released an alternative firmware for the Stage, which clearly brings the module back into focus. This includes a large number of new neat features.

Mutable Instruments Stages alternative firmware

MI Stages Qiemem Firmware

JoeSeggiola’s initial firmware was a modification that let you enter and exit the “Ouroboros” mode aka harmonic oscillator easter egg at runtime, while the module is powered on. However, this firmware has evolved into one that nearly reinvents the module in the last few months. It now features the ability to o sequence harmonic ratios, enables slower free-running LFOs, and providing a completely alternative mode that transforms the module into six identical DAHDSR envelope generators.

Additions To Segment Generator Mode

  • bipolar LFOs, steps, and holds: Toggle a segment’s polarity by holding its button and wiggling its pot
  • very-slow and audio-rate LFOs: change an LFO’s frequency range by holding its button and moving its slider to top, middle, or bottom
  • re-trigger control: hold a ramp segment’s button and wiggle its pot to toggle re-trigger behavior; this allows for DUSG/Maths-style clock dividers, subharmonic generators, and more!
  • fast and slow envelopes: change the range of a ramp’s slider by holding its button and move the slider to top, middle, or bottom
  • arbitrarily slow clocked LFOs and improved audio-rate clocked LFOs
  • Hold and step segment quantization: Hold button and move slider to select scale; slider transposes within key, allowing selection of mode
  • Start and end value tracking for ramp segments: This can be used as a kind of VCA or crossfader

This demo doesn’t feature the new addition in firmware 1.1

Well, that’s not all. This firmware also includes a new advanced segment generator mode that another level of flexibility

Advanced Segment Generator

  • Random segment type: A fourth type of segment, which gives access to four different random/chaotic algorithms:
    • Uniform random CV (single, non-looping, non-gated)
    • Double-scroll attractor, a smooth chaotic system similar to the Lorenz system (single, looping, non-gated)
    • Emulation of Tom Whitwell’s Turing Machine (non-looping, gated)
    • Logistic map, a discrete chaotic system (single, looping, gated)
  • Slew with independent rise and fall times: Single, non-gated, non-looping ramp (green) segments slew with independent rise and fall: CV is target value, pot is rise, and slider is fall; this can be used as an AR envelope or an envelope follower as well
    • Unipolar and bipolar mode: applies full-wave rectification to incoming signal in unipolar mode for optimal use as an envelope follower
  • Probabilistic gates: A single, looping, gated red segment’s pot now controls its probability of firing, giving you a mini-branches (the pot used to do nothing in this case)
  • Attenuverter segments: Single, looping step (yellow) segments attenuate instead of slew. Non-looping still slew, so no functionality is lost.

On top, it also allows you to control the frequency range of the harmonic oscillator mode giving access to 6 harmonically related LFOs. See the cheatsheet for a list of all module controls, including built-in ones. This fork includes the changes in official firmware 1.1 as well as the extended sequencer official firmware.

The Qiemem firmware for Stages is huge and completely flips the module. For anyone who already has it, this is a huge gain. For anyone interested, it is now even more interesting. Making a module open source leads to copies, yes. But also to such further developments that are great and welcome with open hands

More information here: MI Stages Firmware

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